What is the Bible?


by Matt Slick

The Bible is a collection of 66 books written by about 40 authors, in three different languages, on three different continents, over approximately 1600 years.  The Bible claims to be inspired and inerrant.  This means that the Bible claims to be from God and that it is without error in everything it addresses.

The Bible contains many different styles of writing such as poetry, narration, fiction1, history, law, and prophecy and must be interpreted in context of those styles.  It is the source of the Christian religion in that the Bible contains the words of God and how the Christian is to apply the words of God to his life.

Basically, the Bible describes the origin of man in the Garden of Eden along with his fall into sin and out of fellowship with God.  It then describes how God called out a special people to Himself, the Israelites.  He promised the Israelites a future Messiah who would restore mankind's relationship with God.  The Bible is the account of the work of God in history bringing to fruition His prophetic declarations concerning Jesus.  Jesus was born of the Virgin, died on the cross, and paid for sins, just as the Bible prophesied in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New.  In short, the Bible points to Jesus, "You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me." (John 5:39).

Furthermore, the Bible teaches us that forgiveness of sins is found in Jesus alone, "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).

Some say that the Bible is nothing more than fairy tales.  But this cannot be, for it contains great wisdom and truth; and it has been verified throughout history as being accurate.  Its historical accounts are flawlessly accurate.  In fact, archaeology routinely demonstrates the accuracy of the biblical records concerning locations and events recorded in the Bible.

The Old Testament Books written by the prophets such as Moses, David, Isaiah, etc.

  1. Pentateuch--5 books: 
    1. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
  2. Historical Books--12 books: 
    1. Joshua, Judges, Ruth, First Samuel, Second Samuel, First Kings, Second Kings, First Chronicles, Second Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther.
  3. Poetical--5 books: 
    1. Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon
  4. Prophetical--17 books: 
    1. Major Prophets--Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel;
    2. Minor Prophets--Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

The New Testament Books written by those who knew Jesus or were under the guidance of those who did

  1. Historical Books--5 books: 
    1. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts
  2. Pauline Epistles--13 books: 
    1. Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians. 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon
  3. Non-Pauline Epistles--9 books: 
    1. Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation
      1. Note:  Some authors attribute Hebrews to Paul.

In Ezekiel 23:1-4 it says, "The word of the Lord came to me again saying, 2 “Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother; 3 and they played the harlot in Egypt.  They played the harlot in their youth; there their breasts were pressed, and there their virgin bosom was handled.  4 “And their names were Oholah the elder and Oholibah her sister.  And they became Mine, and they bore sons and daughters.  And as for their names, Samaria is Oholah, and Jerusalem is Oholibah."

 

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  • 1. Some have called this a fictional account that represents Samaria and Jerusalem.  Others have said it is imagery used as representation and some have referred to it as a parable.

 

 

 

 
 
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